With 302bhp and 332lb ft from a 2.0-litre turbo petrol motor – significantly exceeding the output of the same unit in the 228bhp John Cooper Works (JCW) model – the GP is capable of 0-62mph in 5.2sec and a top speed of 164mph.
The production run from Mini’s Oxford plant is 3000 globally, with 575 destined for the UK, priced from £33,895.
Externally, the most notable additions are a giant roof spoiler with double-wing contours, a new front apron design and special wheel-arch extender panels that are made of lightweight carbonfibre-reinforced plastic and dubbed ‘spats’ by Mini engineers.
The material for the spats is recycled from the production process of the i3 and i8 of Mini parent company BMW. With an exposed matt finish, the front arch panels each feature the car’s specific build number. The body itself is available exclusively in metallic grey, with silver and red details.
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Most of the GP’s extra power is achieved with a new turbocharger. The motor’s compression ratio is reduced to cope with the extra boost pressure, and a new intake duct and new multi-hole injectors – with up to 350 bar of pressure – also feature, as does a GP-specific oil sump.
A new exhaust system is said to bring sound effects “inspired by motor racing”. Also taken from the firm’s racing expertise is a newly developed cooling system.
Power is put to the front wheels only through an eight-speed automatic gearbox with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. A mechanical differential lock helps to channel the healthy power output smoothly.
The GP’s body structure is said to be “extremely rigid” (though no percentage increase is quoted), with new supports, members and strut braces. The suspension was developed from extensive Nürburgring testing. The track widths are increased and the body is lowered by 10mm over the standard JCW, while a host of new parts and extra front camber reduce roll and improve grip.
The dynamic stability control set-up has a GP-specific mode that relaxes the system’s intervention. A new sports braking system (in conjunction with lightweight forged wheels) features four-piston front calipers for greater stability and braking power.
Inside, there are just two seats. Combined with less acoustic insulation, the shedding of its rear seats contributes to a reduced, 1255kg kerb weight – 85kg lighter than the normal JCW. New 3D-printed honeycomb metal shift paddles feature and 3D printing has also been used for the passenger dashboard panel, where the car’s build number is displayed.
Despite the pared-back approach, the GP can still be specced with sat-nav, wireless charging and heated front seats. It also gets the digital instrument cluster from the Mini Electric as standard.
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